A main concern many newbie chicken owners have is about what to feed their chickens. Issues concerning the quantity, feeding times, the heating of feeds and even nourishment of mixtures often cause them major worries. In truth, chickens are really easy to rear and do not require near as much time and effort as you would initially assume. Chickens have been around for the longest time now and have incredible survival instincts. Only the most basic level of care is needed to ensure that your chickens grow up nice and healthy.
Chickens are sturdy little birds that will feed on just about anything. It is not uncommon to see chickens eating leftover food, vegetables and seeds as well as bugs and slugs. Even a cockroach scurrying around will soon be picked up and eaten by a chicken in no time at all. Foraging for food is also a common past time of chickens. They often forage for worms but will also sometimes eat grass and swallow pebbles to aid in their digestion. Due to this, try to let your chickens run around occasionally as it will be to their benefit. Cooping them up inside the chicken house not only takes away a great avenue of food and nourishment for them but also ends up making them feel stressed out and irritable. This can very well lead to digestive problems and even quarrels and fights.
In general, there are 2 main types of chicken feeds. The first and most common type is corn mixed with seeds. Various different seed types can be added based on the nourishments your chickens need. The next type of chicken feed comes in the form of pellets. These pellets come in 3 main types, namely, layer mash, crumbled pellet and full pellets. The different types do not affect nourishment and contents. The only difference between them is in the fineness and coarseness of the overall feed. You might want to select your pellet type according to the age of the chicken. For instance, layer mash might be more suitable for young chicks, but adults can easily take in full pellets.
To add on to the earlier point about chickens foraging for grass and pebbles to swallow, they basically do this to help in digestive issues. A shortage of such opportunities would require you to feed your chickens grits more often. Grits can be purchased from any local poultry supply store and are a major element in helping to ensure your chickens always have good digestion. You can also make your own grits by roasting eggshells in an oven until they are nice and brown. Subsequently, pound them up and mix it into the chicken feed.
All in all, feeding chickens is really quite easy. Just take note of the above mentioned guidelines and you will soon find that chickens are far easier to rear and feed than you have ever thought.